March 22, 2012
More years ago than I care to remember I was visiting a customer who sold plants at the New Covent Garden wholesale market. At the time my wife was growing the most stunningly beautiful Oriental Lilies which had been bred especially for her and it was named by her “Grayswood” after the village where we live. Huge scented flowers and several leagues prettier than the standard Stargazer sold by the likes of Tesco.
The problem was that Covent Garden preferred the price of the Stargazer and that is what was purchased. On pushing him (oh, the arrogance of youth…) he said “I pays my money and I make my choice”. Well, that was an important lesson. Fortunately in the end the superior product won and found a nice niche with higher end London florists.
Reel on a quarter of a century or so and customers are still faced with similar choices but nowadays they are much more astute. Rarely is it just a question of price. Factors such as supplier reliability, knowledge, backup service and most of all trust are very much a part of the purchasing equation.
At Van Walt I am most insistent that my colleagues are well trained and attuned to the justifiably rigorous demands of the customers. That we make mistakes is sure but we own up to them and learn so that tomorrow we will be able to give an even better service.
Vincent van Walt
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